With double-digit sales growth, the Würth Group is once again on track towards record results: automated logistics processes safeguard continued business growth

  • Sales volume increases to EUR 19.9 billion
  • Operating result goes up to EUR 1.6 billion
  • High equity ensures stability in challenging times
  • Automation strategy “Logistics 2030 Vision” safeguards growth targets for the Group 

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The Würth Group, world market leader in the development, production and sale of assembly and fastening materials, once again reports double-digit sales growth again in the 2022 fiscal year. At EUR 19.9 billion, sales are well above the previous year (2021: EUR 17.1 billion), corresponding to growth of 16.8 percent. Adjusted for currencies, sales grew by 15.1 percent. At EUR 1.6 billion, the Group also achieved a new operating result record (2021: EUR 1.3 billion).

In the past two years, we generated sales growth of more than EUR 5.5 billion. This is a remarkable achievement in our more than 75 years of corporate history, considering the multitude of imponderables that have challenged us since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and now with the war in Ukraine. Especially in these difficult times, our customers value our reliable delivery capability and service leadership.

Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group

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Companies in Germany and abroad with double-digit growth rates
With a sales share of 39.4 percent, Germany remains the most important single market in the Würth Group. The German companies achieved a sales increase of 13.1 percent. Reasons for the positive development are both the stability of the individual business models and the very high product availability. The Electrical Wholesale Unit (+24.8 percent) and Würth Elektronik Group (+22.0 percent) were particularly successful. At 21.4 percent, Division Wood achieved the highest growth among the divisions of the Würth Line, followed by Division Industry at 20.9 percent. Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG, the Group’s parent company and largest single company, increased its sales volume by 10.5 percent, including intra-Group sales. The companies outside Germany also reported a successful fiscal year with a sales increase of 19.4 percent. The top performers can be found in the Americas, Southern and Eastern Europe.

E-business: customers continue to rely on digital procurement of goods
Apart from the more than 43,000 sales employees and more than 2,500 pick-up shops worldwide, e-business is one of the strategic growth areas of the Würth Group. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the procurement of goods via digital channels became an integral part of our customers’ order routine. This trend is reflected in sales: e-business accounted for sales of EUR 4.1 billion across the Group. The sales share amounted to a new maximum of 20.7 percent.

Strong growth requires strong logistics processes
The continuous growth of the Würth Group requires that the process structures grow as well. The Group’s strategy is therefore to exploit the full potential of digitalization and automation in order to also meet social challenges such as demographic change and the shortage of skilled workers. “On the one hand, our logistics robots improve productivity. On the other hand, they relieve our employees of physically demanding tasks. Automated processes enable us to supply our customers quickly and reliably. They appreciate the quality of our products and rightly expect the same from the availability of the ordered goods,” Friedmann said.

Important building blocks for the constant security of supply and thus relief for our customers even in challenging times were, on the one hand, the rental of additional pallet spaces. Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG alone accounted for more than 60,000 pallet spaces. On the other hand, Würth relied on the development of personnel and increased its inventory value by more than 70 percent over the last two years at a time when many other companies cut back. Friedmann emphasized that “the family business plays a crucial part here: It provides not only the necessary freedom for taking action and making decisions, but also the stability for such decisions.”

Würth creates global knowledge and implementation network in logistics
Würth Group experts from different countries form a so-called “Inno.Log panel” (innovations in logistics) and regularly exchange information about new technologies and standardized automation solutions in the field of logistics. The aim is to make these available to all Würth companies. “The advantage is that not every single one of our more than 400 companies has to find solutions to logistics issues. The panel evaluates preferred technologies and shares them with all Würth companies. This saves both time and costs and creates valuable synergy effects,” Friedmann explained.

“Logistics 2030 Vision” specifies automation strategy
For the strategic development of logistics, the Würth Group has set itself the goal of achieving an automation level of 75 percent by 2030 in the companies with the highest sales volumes. Friedmann emphasized: “This is not about replacing people. On the contrary, we continue to rely on our almost 12,000 logistics employees and are adding staff. We are striving for the perfect interplay of employees, robots, workplace health management and corporate growth in order to safeguard the future of the Würth Group.”

More than 2,000 new employees
The Würth Group hired 2,454 new employees in the 2022 fiscal year. The Group employs 85,637 people, 43,297 of whom work in the sales force. In Germany, the company has 26,113 employees.

High equity provides stability and confidence
In the past fiscal year, the Würth Group’s equity increased by 16.0 percent to EUR 7.9 billion. With this plus of EUR 1.1 billion, the equity ratio increased to 46.0 percent (2021: 45.2 percent). This good equity base has been the basis for consistently high financial stability for years, which creates confidence, especially in difficult times. The rating agency S&P Global confirmed the Würth Group’s “A/outlook stable” rating in 2022.

First sustainability report published by the Würth Group
In addition to the annual report, the Würth Group is publishing a sustainability report for the first time this year. Titled “Go”, the company presents its ecological and social key figures in a transparent manner in said report. The report is available online at www.wuerth.com.

Subdued optimism for 2023
The war in Ukraine, disrupted supply chains and high inflation continue to have a negative impact on the German economy. According to the ifo Institute, business sentiment has improved, but the economy still lacks momentum.

The Handelsblatt Research Institute (HRI) expects the effects of the European Central Bank's interest rate turnaround to start showing in the summer. Many industries would be affected, including the construction sector, which is important for the Würth Group. After 2022, HRI expects capital expenditures to continue to decline by about five percent this year.

In the first three months of 2023, the Würth Group generated sales growth of 9.3 percent, adjusted for currencies, growth would come out at 9.5 percent. Whereas growth in the previous year was still broad-based both in regional terms and across business units, the current year is showing different developments: The Würth Group in Germany grew by 12.8 percent in the first three months. Southern and Eastern Europe, too, reported double-digit sales growth. In these three regions, the strong growth rates reflect the performance of Electrical Wholesale which, in turn, benefits from the boom in renewable energies. After three months, this business unit reported sales growth of around 23 percent.

Since the end of December 2022, the number of employees has increased by 951 colleagues. The operating result is 2.3 percent above the previous year.

Despite the many economic and political uncertainties, we are cautiously optimistic about 2023. We anticipate sales growth in the mid-single digits and an operating result on a par with the previous year.

Robert Friedmann, Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group

About the Würth Group
The Würth Group is the global market leader in the development, production and sale of assembly and fastening materials. Other trading and production companies, known as the Allied Companies, operate in related business areas, ranging from electrical wholesale and electronics to financial services. The Group employs more than 85,000 employees in over 400 companies with more than 2,500 pick-up shops across 80 countries. The Group achieved sales of EUR 19.9 billion in the 2022 fiscal year. With 7,600 employees, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG in Künzelsau is the largest single company in the Würth Group.